The stage is set and the battle lines have been drawn as high-flying India gear up to take on a spirited New Zealand in the first semifinal of the World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday, November 15.
India have had an invincible run in the ongoing marquee tournament and have won nine out of their nine fixtures. Though they suffered a major setback after losing due to an ankle injury, it has not derailed their campaign.
The Men in Blue registered a convincing victory by a whopping margin of 160 runs in their final fixture of the round-robin stage at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru and are brimming with self-belief.
On the other hand, the Kiwis started their World Cup campaign with a bang and defeated the defending champions England in the curtain raiser at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Despite injuries to key players like and , the Blackcaps won four games on the trot and were looking like one of the most intimidating oppositions before they ran into the -led India.
New Zealand lost their fixture against the hosts while playing at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA) in Dharamsala by four wickets and registered a major slump in form.
The runners-up of the previous edition lost three games on the bounce following their defeat at the hands of India and were sweating over their chances of making it to the final four. However, a win over Sri Lanka in their final round-robin tie eased things out for them and saw them seal a place in the semis.
With two evenly matched teams coming together to battle it out in the semis, the contest is expected to be an eye-catching one and it seems that the weather gods will also have mercy on it. As per Weather.com, there is only a 1% chance of rain on Wednesday but the players might be seen struggling due to the humidity which is expected to be around 60%.